The Highs and Lows of Low Muscle Tone

I hate exercise. Hate. But exercise (or rather muscle building) is routine for Willow. And most of the time… she does it with a smile on her face. Most of the time.

Hypotonia… low muscle tone… is one of the characteristics of Down syndrome. It’s something that will get better as Willow grows and builds strength… but it will never go away.  And as I said earlier… Willow usually enjoys physical therapy. She gets to bounce on a ball… play with certain toys… get lots of praise and kisses. But lately… she’s discovered that some of the things we’re telling her are “fun” are actually a lot of work. Frustration is taking over for everyone… Willow… me… her therapists. Tears are plentiful. Blah. But enough about the lows of low muscle tone. Today… I am going to focus on the high.

Willow is the most cuddly kid I know. Her hugs are heavy… involving her whole body. They are an instant pick-me-up. Most children her age (14 months at the time of this post) still like a good cuddle… but are usually so interested in exploring the world around them that they aren’t interested in hugging too long. Not my Willow. While she’s a lover by nature… I know her low muscle tone plays a role. She falls into our arms easily… and is often content to stay there. I sometimes think God gave me Willow… because my other kiddos are growing up too quickly and aren’t fulfilling my need for cuddle time. This is where my husband would say “Hey! What am I… chopped liver? I’m always game for cuddle time!”

Cuddle Time!
Cuddle Time!
Looks like fun eh? What she doesn't know is she's working her core.
Looks like fun eh? What she doesn’t know is she’s working her core.
Our newest piece of furniture. The Creepster Crawler! Designed to build strength and motivation to someday crawl!
Our newest piece of furniture. The Creepster Crawler! Designed to build strength and motivation to someday crawl!

 

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One thought on “The Highs and Lows of Low Muscle Tone

  1. Hello there,

    I am a Graduate Student at Rochester Institute of Technology getting my Master’s degree in Industrial Design and I’ve just found your blog. I’m working on my graduate thesis right now and I’m trying to find a way that design can have a positive impact on children with low and high muscle tone. I really need some input from parents of children with abnormal muscle tone and have put together a quick survey to take. If you wouldn’t mind taking a look at it and possibly sending it along to anyone you know who might be of help I would appreciate it more than you know. I would love to give you more information on my project if you’re interested! The link to the survey is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T5B7NSV.

    Thank you!

    -Liana
    http://lianabeer.wordpress.com (my blog tracks my design process up until now if you would like to see what I have done so far)

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